Nadine Dorries has accused “Big Tech” of manipulating algorithms to “nudge opinion ever leftwards” and ensuring the “content people read online is Left-leaning”.
The former culture secretary said the revelation came as she googled her name and surveyed the results. She described her findings as “alarming”.
Relaying a story from her time as culture secretary in her Daily Mail column, Dorries recalled: “I had a meeting with UK Google executives coming up, so my team and I did a Google search using my name. What topped the list were negative news stories in Left-leaning publications”.
In a shock twist, she explained how, upon meeting the executives, “One of them got out his phone and said: ‘Are you sure that’s what happened? It doesn’t happen when I search your name”.
Humanists UK to intervene in crucial NI Court of Appeal religious education case
Management of game assurance scheme transferring from BGA to Aim to Sustain
“I felt foolish and apologised”, she explained further, before she searched her name again the following day “and it was back to what we had seen before”
“Someone obviously had their hand on the Google dial prior to that meeting”, she added.
In her Mail column, she also accused the prime minister of being “a man in thrall to Big Tech”, saying he had overseen a “managed decline in the proposed effectiveness of both [the Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers Bill and the Online Safety Bill] over the past 12 months”.
She questioned whether the PM is buckling “under intense lobbying from Big Tech”.
Elsewhere in the column, Dorries revealed that Oliver Dowden, her predecessor as culture secretary and now-deputy prime minister, told her to “kick the Online Safety Bill into the long grass” on her first day as culture secretary.
She added: “This, I would come to realise, reflected a particular view of Big Tech — Meta (which owns Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp), Google, Apple and Microsoft — and attempts to regulate its harmful impact on consumers and on business”.
Dorries, who has served as the MP for Mid Bedfordshire from 2005 to 2023, announced on June 9 that she would step down “with immediate effect” in protest at not being given a peerage in former prime minister Boris Johnson’s resignation honours list.
She would go on to resign 78 days later.
Her old constituency last week voted for a Labour MP for the first time in its existence, as Alistair Strathern overturned a 24,000 majority in the former Conservative heartland.
Politics.co.uk is the UK’s leading digital-only political website, providing comprehensive coverage of UK politics. Subscribe to our daily newsletter here.